December 4, 2020

Schiffrin Interviewed by Voice of America

Schiffrin_250Holly Schiffrin, professor of psychology, was recently quoted in Voice of America. The article, “Does Your Mother Still Do Your Laundry?,” discussed the problems of helicopter parenting.  “Helicopter parenting is … parents being involved at a level that is inappropriate,” she said. Schiffrin told VOA that she sees students struggling to deal with issues ranging from anxiety to maturity to handling simple tasks that come with independence, such as doing laundry or cooking a meal.


Wilson Publishes, Presents Paper on Rape Acknowledgment

Lwilsonaura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology, has published a paper with colleagues from the University of Central Florida and Virginia Tech. Dr. Wilson, along with Drs. Newins and White, wrote a paper about how the way rape survivors conceptualize the incident impacts their functioning. This process is called rape acknowledgment. Up to this point, researchers have primarily focused on how the label the survivor uses to conceptualize the incident explains depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, without taking other factors into account. The findings of this more recent study suggest that the label matters in the context of the survivor’s beliefs about sexual victimization. The paper, “The impact of rape acknowledgment on survivor outcomes: The moderating effects of rape myth acceptance,” was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Wilson also presented the study with Dr. Newins at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies conference in Chicago this month. They presented as part of a symposium they arranged including esteemed colleagues from Duke University School of Medicine, East Carolina University, and University of New Mexico.

UMW’s Psi Chi Chapter Honored

The University of Mary Washington’s Chapter of Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology, was recently honored as the 2016 Southeastern Regional Chapter of of the Year.  This award recognizes the chapter as modeling excellence through programming and service and identifies it as one of the premier chapters in the country.  The Department of Psychological Science would like to thank the 2015-16 office team and the membership as a whole for all of their hard work, which is truly deserving of this recognition.

UMW to Host Psi Chi Symposium, April 23-24

The University of Mary Washington’s chapter of Psi Chi, an international honor society for psychology, will hold the 30th annual Psi Chi Research Symposium on Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24.   Amy Van Arsdale, 2015 Psi Chi Symposium Keynote The keynote address , “Questioning, Creativity, and Caring: Impacting Your Community at Every Level”  will be given by Amy Van Arsdale, assistant professor of psychology at Marymount University, at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 24. An award ceremony and reception will follow. More than 130 students will present their research as part of the symposium on Thursday, April 23 from 8:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. and on Friday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411. The symposium and research presentations are free and open to the public. Arsdale teaches classes on abnormal psychology, counseling theories and personality theories at Marymount University.  In her personal research, Arsdale studies the development of delinquent behavior among adolescent girls, which she developed an interest in while working on a research grant for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Arsdale also is interested in the study of juvenile justice, adolescent sex offenders and perfectionism. Arsdale completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Towson University Counseling Center prior to teaching at Marymount in 2010. In addition, she has conducted couple, group and individual psychotherapy at a domestic violence shelter, community mental health center and university counseling centers. For more information about the symposium, contact Mindy Erchull, associate professor of psychology, at 540-654-1557. To view the program, visit

UMW Psychologists Discuss Balance on Public Radio Show

University of Mary Washington psychologists Miriam Liss and Holly Schiffrin say that finding happiness in life doesn’t come from having more material possessions. Miriam Liss and Holly Schiffrin “There’s really no way to be all in at work, all in as a parent, all in as a partner or spouse and all in in other social roles like volunteering,” said Liss who coauthors the recently released book Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family and Lifewith her colleague. “You have to find out what works for you to give balance in life.” Liss and Schiffrin explore how to achieve this balance in an upcoming interview on Virginia’s Public Radio Program With Good Reason, which airs Jan. 24 through Jan. 30. In the radio show, they discuss how to avoid working or parenting in excess, how to focus on what is intrinsically motivating, and how to work toward gender equality in the home and workplace in order to give concrete steps toward reaching harmony among our roles in life. With Good Reason is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. The show also airs broadcast on public radio stations in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington D.C. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at  Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature are available online at Liss and Schiffrin are international experts on the subjects of happiness, gender issues and intensive and helicopter parenting. Liss is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV). Schiffrin is president of the Virginia Academic and Applied Psychologist Academy of the Virginia Psychological Association. Balancing work and family also is personal for Liss and Schiffrin. While maintaining full teaching and research loads, they also are raising young children.

UMW Professor Receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Liss-Video-8University of Mary Washington Professor of Psychology Miriam Liss is the recipient of a prestigious 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV). The awards are the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities, recognizing superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. This year, 13 faculty members were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates. In February, the recipients will attend a ceremony and luncheon in Richmond and also will be introduced on the floor of the General Assembly. Liss, who joined the UMW faculty in 2001, is a clinical psychologist and has conducted research on parenting, division of labor and work-family balance. The co-author of “Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family and Life,” Liss also has published articles about autism and developmental disorders, as well as sensory processing sensitivity, self-injurious behaviors, feminist identity and body image. She has developed a collaborative program between UMW and the New England Center for Children (NECC) where students can spend a semester at NECC outside of Boston, performing applied behavioral analysis in a school setting and taking classes for UMW elective credit. Her articles have been published in numerous journals including the Sex Roles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, and Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines. She also regularly presents at national conferences. Liss has been interviewed for her work on intensive and attachment parenting for the Washington Post, and Live Science. Liss’s honors include election into Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi, where she was selected as the regional faculty advisor winner and supervised the chapter winning the National Chapter Award in 2006. She received the UMW Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award in 2005 and was a finalist in the SCHEV state award in 2006 and 2009. She also was named one of Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors. Liss received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, in addition to a doctorate and master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut. The General Assembly and Governor created the Outstanding Faculty Award program in 1986. Since the first awards in 1987, more than 300 Virginia faculty members have received this high honor. Professor of History Jeffrey McClurken was the 2014 recipient of the award.

Parliamentary Predictions

Girard Bucello travels abroad to study the European Union.

Liss to be Featured on With Good Reason

An encore presentation of Professor of Psychology Miriam Liss’ interview on With Good Reason can be heard beginning Nov. 15 through Nov. 21.

Broadcast times are listed at:

The full program will be posted a week after the show at:

Standing Up Against Sexism

Ask Chris Kilmartin what his ideal stage would be, and he may divulge a secret wish to appear on “The Daily Show” trading barbs with political funny guy Jon Stewart. Still, Kilmartin, a part-time stand-up comedian and full-time University of Mary Washington psychology professor, says he is just as happy making an impact in the classroom and on the national stage—shattering stereotypes about gender psychology and bringing attention to the serious issue of sexual violence.

APS Publishes Wilson’s Article

The Association for Psychological Science’s “Observer” recently published an article by Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology, entitled “Introduction to Meta-Analysis: A Guide for the Novice.”